Each of us has to awaken the sleeping saint within us. – Chinmaya
A saint is the one who has known his true Self. He is the one who has awakened to the great Truth – that he is not the body-mind complex but the pure Consciousness which is infinite and immortal.
The Self in us is equally divine. The only difference is, a saint chose to awaken to the Self, while we chose to remain ‘asleep’ to our own true nature. The result? The saint became godly, and we remain worldly.
There is a touching story about Thomas Alva Edison during his school days.
One day Edison came home from school and gave a paper to his mother. He told her, “My teacher gave this paper to me and told me to only give it to you.”
His mother’s eyes were tearful as she read out the letter aloud to her child, “Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself.”
After many, many years, after Edison’s mother died and he was now one of the greatest inventors of the century, one day he was looking through old family things. Suddenly he saw a folded paper in the corner of a drawer in a desk. He took it and opened it up. On the paper was written, “Your son is an addled child (mentally ill and confused). We won’t let him come to school any more.”
Edison cried for hours and then he wrote in his diary: “Thomas Alva Edison was an addled child; and by a hero mother, became the genius of the century.”
So too, Mother Geeta considers none of her children as unfit for spiritual awakening.
अपि चेत् सुदुराचार: भजते मामनन्यभाक् । साधुरेव स मन्तव्य: सम्यक् व्यवसितो हि स: ॥
क्षिप्रं भवति धर्मात्मा शश्वत् शान्तिं निगच्छति । कौन्तेय प्रतिजानीहि न मे भक्त: प्रणश्यति ॥
(Even if a rank criminal turns to Me and worships Me wholeheartedly, he must be considered a saint, for, very soon he will become an embodiment of righteousness and will attain abiding peace. O Arjuna! Know for sure that My devotee shall never perish.)
The root cause of all our miseries and sufferings is that we have ignored the valuable teachings of our scriptures. Our scriptures deal with the knowledge of who we are. All the scriptures unanimously declare that we are Sat-Chit-Anand – Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute. Nothing is lacking in us, as we are divinely perfect.
But, unfortunately, due to the neglect of the scriptures, and hence not knowing who we are, we grope in the dark taking ourselves to be the body.
Once a farmer found an abandoned eagle’s nest and in it was an egg still warm.
He took the egg back to his farm and laid it in the nest of one of his hens. The egg hatched and the baby eagle grew up along with the other chickens. It pecked about the farmyard, scrabbling for grain. It spent its life within the yard and rarely looked up.
When it was very old, one day it lifted up its head and saw above it a wonderful sight – an eagle soaring high above in the sky. Looking at it, the old creature sighed and said to itself, “If only I’d been born an eagle.”
Our story is no different.
A 15th-century ruler of a state in South India once went for hunting. In the thick of forests, he somehow got separated from his attendants and lost the way.
Finding no way to get out of the jungle, the king felt totally helpless and worried. To his luck, he came across a wood-cutter busy in cutting the trees. With his help, the king came out of the thick forest.
Highly pleased, the ruler rewarded the wood-cutter with a forest of sandalwood exclusively for his use. The wood-cutter was overjoyed.
After a few months, the king happened to revisit that area. But to his horror, he found the entire sandalwood forest almost totally burnt. He asked the wood-cutter what had happened to the forest.
The wood-cutter proudly replied, “I have burnt all the trees to make coal. The coal, you know, has good value in the market.”!!
How few realize that this human birth is given to realize the Higher, and not to indulge in the lower!
People have absurd ideas regarding saints. According to them, having supernatural powers to cure the sick and to raise the dead make one saintly!
Nasruddin had barely finished his discourse when one of the scoffers in the crowd said to him, “Instead of spinning spiritual theories, why don’t you show us something practical?”
Nasruddin was quite nonplussed. “What kind of practical thing would you want me to show you?” he asked.
The scoffer said, “For instance, show us an apple from the garden of Paradise.”
Nasruddin immediately picked up an apple and handed it to the man. “But this apple is bad on one side. Surely a heavenly apple would be perfect.” said the man.
“A celestial apple would indeed be perfect.” said the Mulla, “But given your present conditions, this is as near to a heavenly apple as you will ever get!!”
Being a saint has nothing to do with the dress one wears, the marks on the forehead or the power one possesses. A saint is the one who has given up all false values of life born out of the identification with the false matter envelopments. Free from all delusions and confusions, he lives a life tuned to the Self. In this regard, even a householder can be a saint.
A devotee, exhausted after climbing the stairs on a steep mountain, once asked a saint, “Why can’t they build the temple on the ground? Why do we have to climb the stairs at each and every temple?”
The saint smiled and said “It is all symbolic. You need to rise above your present egoistic level to reach God. Each step in those stairs is a reminder that you are rising above your level in terms of your envy, your greed, anger, ego and all evil parts of your life. It also suggests that you have to climb the steps one by one; you can’t just jump off from the first step to the last step. The whole spiritual journey is an evolution, and not a revolution. And once you conquer the lower in you, you are face to face with the Highest!”
A handful of wheat, five thousand years old, was found in the tomb of one of the kings of ancient Egypt. Someone planted the grains; and to everyone’s amazement, they came to life!
So too, the great Truth is there, in each and every one of us, as the very Self in us, waiting to manifest in its full glory. It is just a matter of time – every sinner of today is but on the path to become the enlightened sage of the morrow.
O M T A T S A T